Counselling for Depression in London
Everyone has periods of being down or at a low ebb, but when those feelings persist you may be depressed.
Depression is far more common than most people think
Recognising the signs of depression and talking to a therapist is the first step to working through and getting past the fog and despair, Counselling for Depression will help you to do this.
Am I Depressed?
It can feel difficult sometimes to distinguish experiencing depression from the normal highs and lows of life. However, the more you identify with the list below and the stronger the feelings, the higher the likelihood is that you are suffering from depression rather than a more fleeting sense of ‘feeling low’.
Do you experience one or more of the following:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and / or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and / or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
It’s important to remember that this is not an exhaustive list, and depression affects everyone differently.
Depression as a vicious cycle
Depression affects people physically, emotionally and cognitively. All three of these are linked, and thus it can be hard to separate one from the other, and they fuel each other in an exhausting circle that can cause you to feel more trapped and hopeless. For example, if you are feeling low in mood, sad, a sense of hopelessness, you may not want to get out of bed or to move much . . . this then causes a sense of lethargy, heaviness and slow movement. These physical symptoms can cause feelings of low mood, sadness and tiredness and therefore you feel you can’t get out of bed, go outside, etc. and so the cycle continues. . .. viciously.
Does something cause my depression?
As with the above vicious circle, there is no one cause for depression. However, some or all of these things can cause a vulnerability to depression:
- Not having a support network, feeling isolated
- Relationship problems
- Financial problems
- Health problems
- History of depression in your family
- Abuse of alcohol and or drugs or another addiction
- Difficulties from the past that can also include trauma and / or abuse
- A sudden shift in your hormones such as following giving birth (see Postnatal Depression & Baby Blues)
You can see from this list that the factors that can cause or contribute to depression are physical, emotional, practical . . . All sorts of combining factors can add to this condition.
How can counselling help with depression?
Counselling can help to understand what, for you, are the causes of your depression and thus, how to best to approach it, to understand it and to manage it. I can also use cognitive-behavioural therapy, if it feels right for you, to provide practical tools that challenge the vicious cycle of depression.
Can I seek counselling and take anti-depressants?
Yes. Many individuals who come to counselling for depression are also on anti-depressants. It’s very important to emphasise that what works for one individual does not work another. Many do not want to take pills if they don’t have to, for others they have been ideal in taking the edge off symptoms enough for them to then seek help through counselling and in other ways. For some, just the medication is enough to alleviate the symptoms to the extent they feel they need nothing else.
Counselling and anti-depressants can go together. What is not appropriate is to see more than one therapist at a time. So, if you are currently in talking therapy or CBT, it is required that you finish seeing that therapist before accessing counselling again.
Counselling for Depression in London with Rachel
Take the first step at getting past the fog and despair and move forward, contact Rachel to discuss Counselling for Depression.
If you are feeling suicidal…
In the depths of depression, it can feel that there is no end to what you are feeling, it can feel overwhelming and permanent. Suicidal thoughts can be frequent and you may find yourself going further and making plans to kill yourself. If you get help, it can be the beginning of realising that how you feel is not permanent and that your depression can begin to shift.
Talking to someone:
- A trusted friend or family member
- Your GP. GP’s are there for mental as well as physical health and can discuss referrals to counselling, CBT or medication if this is something you feel may be useful for you
- A vicar, minister, priest or other type of faith healer
The Samaritans are open 24 hours, seven days a week:
Call 116 123
Specific Samaritan link on wanting to kill yourself: I want to kill myself
If you prefer to write down how you are feeling, or speaking to someone over the phone does not feel right for you, you can express what you are going through in an email and send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you know or worry about someone who you think is suicidal?
If you know someone who is feeling suicidal, speak to them about it. It may feel difficult, but talking about suicidal thoughts, feelings and plans is instrumental to the individual experiencing it. It is not about finding a solution, but simply listening to the person and signposting them in the right direction.
Useful advice and further information about Depression
Men and Depression
Men can often find speaking out about how they are feeling more difficult than women. There is a resource called CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) that is specifically for young men who are feeling unhappy. You can also call them on 0800 58 58 58
Mind: The Mental Health Charity
Explains what suicidal feelings are, including possible causes and how you can learn to cope.
What is Depression?:
Two short videos that help to explain what depression is and what it means to feel depressed.